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Thyroid Cancer Treatment (PDQ®)

Changes to This Summary (02/25/2015)

The PDQ cancer information summaries are reviewed regularly and updated as new information becomes available. This section describes the latest changes made to this summary as of the date above.

General Information About Thyroid Cancer

Updated statistics with estimated new cases and deaths for 2015 (cited American Cancer Society as reference 1).

Stage IV Papillary and Follicular Thyroid Cancer

Divided standard treatment options list into options for iodine-sensitive disease and options for iodine-resistant disease.

Added text to state standard treatment options for iodine-resistant thyroid cancer include the option sorafenib, and added that a phase III randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study (DECISION) evaluated the activity of sorafenib, an orally active, multityrosine kinase inhibitor, in patients with progressive iodine-refractory differentiated thyroid cancer, and described the results of the trial, adding that prior chemotherapy, thalidomide, or targeted therapy were excluded (cited Brose et al. as reference 1 and level of evidence 1iDiii).

Medullary Thyroid Cancer

Editorial changes were made to this section.

Recurrent Thyroid Cancer

Revised text to state that when recurrent disease does not concentrate I131, or disease recurs after I131 ablation, sorafenib has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a treatment option.

Revised text to state that a phase III randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study (DECISION) evaluated the activity of sorafenib, an orally active, multityrosine kinase inhibitor in patients with progressive iodine-refractory differentiated thyroid cancer, and described the results of the trial, adding that prior chemotherapy, thalidomide, or targeted therapy were excluded (cited Brose et al. as reference 8 and level of evidence: 1iDiii).

Added text to state that external-beam radiation therapy or intraoperative radiation therapy can be useful in controlling symptoms related to local tumor recurrences (cited Vikram et al. as reference 9). Also added that systemic chemotherapy can be considered; chemotherapy has been reported to produce occasional objective responses, usually of short duration (cited Shimaoka et al. as reference 10).

Added text to state that patients unresponsive to I131 should also be considered candidates for clinical trials testing new approaches to this disease.

Added text to include treatment options under clinical evaluation and stated that clinical trials evaluating new treatment approaches to this disease should also be considered for these patients. Also added that oral inhibitors of vascular endothelial growth-factor receptors are under clinical evaluation (cited Sherman et al. as reference 11 and level of evidence 2Dii).

This summary is written and maintained by the PDQ Adult Treatment Editorial Board, which is editorially independent of NCI. The summary reflects an independent review of the literature and does not represent a policy statement of NCI or NIH. More information about summary policies and the role of the PDQ Editorial Boards in maintaining the PDQ summaries can be found on the About This PDQ Summary and PDQ NCI's Comprehensive Cancer Database pages.

  • Updated: February 25, 2015